Archive for February, 2005

* tiny food jewelry

Posted on February 28th, 2005 by maitreya. Filed under Crafty Links.

4 sites making cute little food jewelry:

Pancake Meow: clay cupcakes, waffles, cake, ice cream sandwiches, and donuts. Looks like more on the way. Also check out her blog for the latest designs (like peanut butter and jam!)


Faeriesmak: clay donuts, muffins, cookies, cupcakes, ice cream cones, pies, burgers, and pancakes. Some plastic charm things, too. Also has a blog


Amyville: clay donuts, chocolates, cupcakes, sushi, and fortune cookies. You’ve probably already seen her shop mentioned over at Super Eggplant or Thimble. She also keeps a blog.


Ihotto: blown glass cupcakes and ice cream. Also for sale at Fred Flare.



* Off with their heads!

Posted on February 27th, 2005 by maitreya. Filed under Toys (cat and kid).

I was going to make the painting-the-roses-red cards from Alice in Wonderland for Month of Softies. I’m not so into memes, but I couldn’t pass up this month’s theme. I Gocco-ed the card fronts and backs on white felt. The heads are made of wood beads, and they had little hoods and shoes of red felt. I tried to use pipe cleaner for the arms and legs and neck. Unfortunately, they didn’t look so hot. I ended up throwing the whole project away. Although the individual pieces were OK, they just didn’t come together at all. The Gocco-ing looked so good, too. Oh well. The heads still make me laugh.



* Japan in New York

Posted on February 25th, 2005 by maitreya. Filed under Wants.

Spent the day in New York City yesterday, seeing the Gates and checking out all the Japanese stores I could find, mostly midtown. I figured I’d post them just in case anyone else is looking. I found out about these places from various friends and from this guidebook I got at the library called Asia in New York City.

Kinokuniya, 10 W 49th between 5th and 6th: Great big bookstore. Good craft book selection. Not as good crafty/home magazine section. I’m going to do a separate post one of these days about my little book collection. I still haven’t been able to find any Wachifield books, though. They’re really well-illustrated children’s books by Akiko Ikeda, and we have a (2004) calendar with the characters, but no books. I’ve tried 3 different Japanese bookstores with no luck. I really wish someone would buy the US rights.


Takashimaya, 693 5th Ave, near 54th: Department store with tea house in the basement. I had lunch and tea here and stole a few ideas from the children’s department. Expensive and fancy, but fun to browse.

Things Japanese: Prints, books, antiques. They were in the middle of moving, to I know not where. Not much to see, anyway, unless you like antiques. What secondhand books they had (the attraction for me) were already packed up.

Katagiri, 226 E 59th (near 2nd?): Funny Japanese quicky mart/gift/video store. They had some really cute sake sets. I got some little paper parasols for Blythe.

Zakka, 147 Grand St: Design books/magazines/toys/clothes. Neat shop. Had an I Love You It’s True Blythe (for $120), and some Blythe stickers and little figures (not petites, alas). Lots of other wacky toys, and some neat design books. Also, Japanese coin-machines that give out little figurines. I was disappointed it wasn’t this type of zakka, though (scroll down to 1/5 entry).

Asahiya: Bookstore, supposedly at 360 Madison Ave according to the 2000 guidebook. Turned out to be a bank at that location, as far as I could tell. :( The Asahiya webpage gives the same address, but the map shows it kind of around the corner on 45th. Other places say the address is 52 Vanderbilt Ave. Maybe one day I’ll find it.

One last place I’ve been that’s in the area is the Mitsuwa in Edgewater, NJ. It’s a whole shopping center. In one building is a big grocery store, a really good food court, pastry counters, and some little specialty kiosks. Then there’s like a strip mall of all sorts of other specialty stores, including one with toys (no Blythes when I went) and stationary, and a good bookstore.

One place I didn’t hit, but that I’d like to visit, is Toy Tokyo, which sounds fun. Doesn’t hurt that they have some Blythe stuff.

[Edit: Momomoogie mentions a Japanese 99 cent store on Grand St called Samurai. Man, I must’ve been right by there and I missed it! The same with Book Off (thanks Mary!)]

If you know of any good ones I missed, please leave a comment.


* Snowy and Chinook

Posted on February 22nd, 2005 by maitreya. Filed under Crafty Review.

I finally got Snowy and Chinook, the latest in the Windy series by Robin Mitchell and Judith Steedman. It comes with a CD, just like Sunny. Same cute aesthetic, with some great silly creatures. I tried the other night to build a diorama like in the book, but it was pretty much a flop. What’s funny is they use some of the very same origami papers that I was using! I’ll definitely take another stab at it.


Oh, and if you haven’t seen Picnic and Steedman Design, design companies they’re affiliated with, go take a look. Their stuff is marvelous.



* Stitch ‘N Bitch Nation

Posted on February 21st, 2005 by maitreya. Filed under Crafty Review.

I finally caught the new SnB sequel at the library. It’s pretty good, although I probably won’t buy it. I’ll at least check it out again for the beginning bit on modifying patterns. The projects I could conceivably make are Russian winter (fluffy hat with ties), the felted monogram bag (by Georgia), the cat toys, and the loop stitch pillow (maybe as a rug?). Plus, I just bought yarn to make purldrop‘s Spiderweb Capelet. The photo is one for sale on her website. I hope my substitution of Paton’s Divine for the Merino Frappe works ok. The Divine is so soft and fluffy and pink and cheap. We’ll see how I do with my first try with lace. Unfortunately, the needles are currently tied up in the sweater arm I’ve been working on for 2 months, so I spent tonight trying to finally finish that.

Glad I checked: errata

Glad I checked II: thread on Craftster with lots of clarifications and a very nice one made with the Divine.



* tiny baby shoes

Posted on February 17th, 2005 by maitreya. Filed under Sewing/Fabric Crafts.

Ha ha, I thought these were going to fit a 1-year-old. Now they are for my protoneice. Directions from Martha’s website.



* shrink plastic tiles

Posted on February 14th, 2005 by maitreya. Filed under Jewelry.

I hope the nice people over at 4square and Jewelry by Jessica don’t get mad, but their sites are just so darn inspiring. These are made with shrink plastic. The first 2 are with colored pencils, and I’m not entirely happy with the color saturation. The circles are drawn with marker. Even my crude drawings look pretty good when shrunk down. The instruction sheet mentioned that Gocco inks also work. I gotta try that. I also want some of the plastic you can put through the printer.





* second crochet cupcake

Posted on February 13th, 2005 by maitreya. Filed under Crochet.

I finally finished the other cupcake I was working on. I like it better than the tiny one. It looks more cupcakey. All the relevant pattern links are in that other post if you’re interested.

I’ve always been envious of the crocheters who can make up designs as they go. The cupcake frosting is a first step toward getting the intuition to do this. I’ve been too afraid to try crochet without a pattern, but since it’s impossible to see my stitches with this yarn, I was forced to just try it. It’s amazing how well it works, and how much courage it gives you. For the little cupcake, I just tried to replicate the pattern. For this one, I played a bit more, like adding a picot ruffle around the edge.



* lumpy bunny

Posted on February 12th, 2005 by maitreya. Filed under Toys (cat and kid).

Another stuffed animal from the same Japanese craft book as the angry/placid sheep and the horse of a different color. I used to have a link to this book, but my laptop, with all my collected links on it, is in the ICU at the moment. Something about a logic board. Between that and a fun flood when our water heater burst, it’s been a bit of a crafting drought this week. Lumpy Bunny started as such a good idea. How can gingham and rickrack fail to be cute, the perfect gift for a local 1-year-old? My sewing still leaves much to be desired, unfortunately. Sewing rickrack is Hard. In the course of basting it on, it seems to have stretched or something and caused all my seams to pucker weirdly. He was really hard to stuff evenly, too. I would open him back up and add more stuffing to combat the lumpiness if I hadn’t ruined him by trying to draw his face with a pen, which bled. I suppose I could glue a new face over the bad one, but at this point I’m just going to start over on something else. Oh well.



* kanzashi flower pin

Posted on February 6th, 2005 by maitreya. Filed under Sewing/Fabric Crafts.

I first noticed pucchimaiko on Craftster and Craftgrrl because we were both making stuff from the Omiyage book. My favorite things from her are her wonderful Japanese flower pins and hair ornaments: thread1 thread2 thread3. It turns out that they are pretty easy to make. Beastbunny posted a tutorial that’s really useful. Once you get the basic folding trick, it’s pretty straightforward to improvise. My petals, for example, stop at step 4 (i.e., without folding up the side wings). I think it looks cleaner that way. I also added a bit of glue to keep the petals together and glued a circle of felt on the back.

I used vintage kimono silk I got a while back from Ah! Kimono. The “short cuts” packs are really fun. I got like 15 different little pieces of fabric for $15. The button is from the motherload of old buttons I pillaged the last time I went home.


Edit: FYI, word from the good folks over at the Tezukuri LJ community is that the proper word for the folding is tsumami, and kanzashi actually refers to a hair pin.



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